Travel: what's on worldwide
Sunday 28 December 1997
The Japanese New Year's celebrations, the Nima-Cho, are kept to a tight time schedule as the main event involves the ritual turning of a giant egg-timer contraption. One of the six glass pyramids at The Nima Sand museum houses a five metre "sand glass" containing one ton of sand, which is turned on its head at the stroke of midnight, taking the following year to filter back through again.
- 1 Jan
Put on your best ugly sister frock and get ready for a 24 hour panto. The "Vagabonds New Year" in the village of Bedzin sees outlandish skits and tricks based on traditional formulas performed by resident rogues dressed in extravagant costumes. Starting early on the 31st, these itinerant souls perform their way around the village until well into New Year's Day.
- 1 Jan
A flaming alternative to Edinburgh's definitive and heavily patronised Hogmanay festival, takes place in the north-east of Scotland, in the seaside town of Stonehaven. The Fireballs Ceremony celebrates Hogmanay and Ne'er Day with the traditional pagan ferocity, involving great balls of fire. Whisky fuelled participants parade the streets swinging metal cages full of burning debris around their heads, apparently to ward off evil spirits for the year ahead.
- 1 Jan
New years celebrations in Ahetringele, Laupen are not the usual bash. Maidens are beaten with inflated pigs' bladders until they fall to pieces - the weapons that is. This ham fisted "happy New Year" procession bids farewell to the old year with the clamorous ringing of huge bells, whilst the "bladder men" beat the crowd, and the "broom men" brandish poles tied with juniper berries.
- 26 Jan
The festival of Sydney (above) starts as it means to go on with a high summer, high energy, New Year's Eve party continuing for most of January with theatre, jazz, open air cinema, visual arts, and the legendary free concerts in the Domain - Opera in the Park, and Symphony Under the Star - culminating with Australia Day on 26 January.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...